The Drums - Portamento

Re-run of their debut
The Drums - Portamento
Just a year after ripping through 2010’s charts, Brooklyn’s favourite Florida sons are back with a brisk follow-up. Are we ready? Are we being rushed? Hmmm. The Drums were a bit of an instant fix for us. Having loved The Cure and all things ’80s, they quickly got a place by our fire. But much of what was great with their debut is merely repeated here.

Opening track ‘Book Of Revelation’ is a tad ironic since it could easily be a great pop quiz question of, ‘What track number on the first album was this?’

The next few offerings repeat the urgent formula of great bass, simple melody lines and the sweet, hushed pleading vocals of Johnny Pierce’s lyrics. They also almost all start identically too, meaning that by the time Johnny does chime in with his nostalgic musings he’s already playing catch-up with our wandering attention.

In a nod to progression though, ‘Hard To Love’ is a Moogy krautrock number that replants their sunshine notes into more fertile ground, whilst ‘Searching For Heaven’ further breaks up the homogeny a tad with Moroder-esque keyboards. This ’70s narcotic warble from the depths of their vintage synths has both eyes firmly planted on ‘Portamento’s architecture, so its frustrating when they all immediately launch into ‘Please Don’t Leave’ with its cut-and-paste drums and identikit thrumming retro bass work. Everyone loves to reminisce, and we’re suckers for well-crafted songs, but we also need to be challenged a little more than this boys.

6/10

Words by Matthew Bennett

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